really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,401 miles

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problem #5

Jul 152015

325 6-cyl

  • 176,000 miles
I think I know why the car catches on fire since mine almost did and I troubleshoot the problem. The alternator is not disconnected from the battery when the ignition key is turned off and the car is parked in the driveway. If the alternator ever overheats for any reason (such as the cooling vent comes loose), the pass transistor in the built in regulator of the alternator begins to short. Since it is never disconnected from the battery (even with the ignition key removed) the fist symptom appears to be a bad battery as the alternator kills the battery. Especially if you replace the battery with a new, fresh one and continue to drive the car the pass transistor continues to short more and more (it charges the battery more and more leading to overcharging and possible fire) and eventually shorts so bad that even when turned off it draws so much current from the battery that it starts to catch fire. If at this point you don't happen to be there to disconnect the battery it becomes a cascaded failure and will become an engine fire. I know because this is exactly what happened to me. I was lucky enough to catch it and figured it out by measuring the resistance of the alternator and was shocked at how low it was. I replaced the alternator and everything has been fine since. I still have the old alternator if anyone wants to examine it. In my opinion the alternator should never be left connected to the battery with the ignition key off. I just don't see any reason for it. Sincerely, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #4

Aug 142015


  • 240,003 miles
Had just parked the car and a few minutes later it caught on fire. Everything under the hood is burned. Surveillance cameras caught the hole thing.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #3

May 062015


  • 0 miles
Oil leak at the valve cover potentially caused by bolts being over-torqued as assembly.

- Carthage , MO, USA

problem #2

Dec 012014

325 6-cyl

  • 0 miles
I am horrified. I have 135K miles on my 2001 BMW 325I and it will no longer reverse. I took it into the transmission guy and he told me it would cost $4K to repair. The car has been in very good shape, with barely any problem. He also sent me to a website where apparently many others have had the same transmission problem. Apparently there is a well known failure esp with the 2001 model 3-series. I believe a class action lawsuit or recall should be brought against BMW.

- Woodstock, NY, USA

problem #1

Feb 012013


  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW 325ci. The contact stated that she noticed a leak under the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic for inspection and they stated that the radiator cap and the thermostat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back and they stated that the fan clutch, the auxiliary cooling system, and the electrical fan censor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 116,000.

- Knoxville , TN, USA